The next presidential election is coming up. The nation is suddenly divided across all these different political figures who always appear seemingly out of nowhere every election cycle.
Maybe I’m an ignorant young adult but I had never heard of most everyone on the election ballot before they announced their candidacy. John Kasich? Carly Fiorina? Even Bernie Sanders, seemingly a frontrunner, was previously unknown to me. Again, maybe I am just unaware as to the happenings in politics.
Where do these people come from? Why do they always seem to have such a strong and, oftentimes, controversial personality?
Donald Trump has been making national headlines since he announced his candidacy by making all sorts of controversial and ridiculous statements. Likewise, Hillary Clinton is criticized for having a seemingly un-relatable personality. Chris Christie is often mocked for his over the top aggressive statements. So on and so forth.
Oftentimes, one of the pros for a candidate is that they appear to be a “normal person”. I have heard plenty of friends and coworkers say “I like Marco Rubio, he seems to be a normal guy” or “Bernie Sanders seems like someone with whom I could relate”, etc. When President Obama was elected, his calm and seemingly normal personality won over many voters. Likewise, Bill Clinton seemed like a fairly normal and very relatable person. Ronald Reagan is also praised for his personality and almost grandfather-like identity.
What is going on with these candidates such that normalcy is a prized value?
It is important to remember that politicians are not like the average person. They are far from average.
To become the President of the United States or even get somewhere close, a person has to be somewhat crazy. Of course, we are all crazy but these achievement demands a special type of ambition and drive. To get close to becoming the President of a country, a person has to be extremely ambitious, well-connected with all sorts of lucrative people, and they have to be interesting. Indeed, candidates who seem boring are often pushed out of the election race.
This is why relatability is so important. A candidate has to be a special sort of person to possess the drive, ambition, connections, power, and bravado necessary to reach this level while also maintaining their normalcy, sanity, and connections with everyday folk.
However, the candidate who can either trick voters into believing that they are that special person or, best of all, actually truly BE that unique individual…. This is your winner.